mountain-bikeExcitement, as well as questions, surround the new mountain bike trail system around Caliente. This is a whole new system, not affecting existing trails for ATVs and horse riding, according to project manager Jon Prescott of the BLM Caliente Field Office.

Plans have the trail starting at Barnes Canyon and leading into Kershaw-Ryan State Park. The trail will offer about 40 miles of riding and will go along the base of the mountains, Prescott said. There will be rest areas with picnic tables and trash cans and the opening down Barnes Canyon will have a parking area.

Local officials are hopeful the trail system will bring riders from all over the United States and other countries. Mountain biking has become a popular activity around the world and draws tourists. Moab and St. George in Utah and Mt. Charleston in Nevada, just to name a few, are popular destinations.

It’s hoped the county’s hotels, RV parks, restaurants and other businesses will see increased customers and that new opportunities will emerge to serve visitors. Funding is in hand to build the trails. The next steps are to get the specs in order and then submit them for construction bids. The BLM will accept bids from skilled and proven mountain bike trail builders, Prescott said. Once a contractor is selected, it’s anticipated it will take a few years to finish the 40 miles of trails, rest areas and parking.